August 23, 2023
Matthew ‘Boots’ Kronman, MD, MSCE, FPIDS, is Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington, where he serves as the Fellowship Program Director and Co-Director of Fellows College. He earned his medical degree at Yale Medical School and completed his residency and chief residency at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital. His ID fellowship was at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Kronman is a member of the PIDS Board of Directors, the Clinical Affairs Committee and the IDA&E Task Force.
Dr. Kronman’s involvement with PIDS began around fellowship. His first, distinct memory of PIDS was attending the 2007 St. Jude-PIDS Pediatric Infectious Diseases Research Conference as chief resident. There he witnessed (current PIDS president) Buddy Creech and (current board member) Natasha Halasa being the life of the meeting and creating an atmosphere of fun in what he describes as “the best job ever, endlessly fascinating and fun.”
In the decade he has been the program director for the University of Washington ID fellowship program, they have had several fellows receive a fellowship award through the PIDS Foundation. Dr. Kronman, in this role, likes to review all available award options with the fellows, often directing them to explore nearly every one of the Foundation awards, depending on their interest. Some fellows work on topics that are highly relevant to the St. Jude-PIDS Fellowship Award in Basic and Translational Science, others possibly more relevant to the Stanley and Susan Plotkin and Sanofi Pasteur Fellowship Award, while yet others will have projects underway that make sense for the Antimicrobial Stewardship Fellowship Award and the travel to the stewardship conference makes sense for them to apply for that award.
That last award was actually piloted and pitched by Dr. Kronman, along with Jason Newland, Adam Hersh, and Jeff Gerber. He takes special enjoyment out of the award that allows trainees interested in stewardship to present their work and meet others to make national networking connections that will last their career and foster ongoing connection in the community. Some of these relationships have allowed awardees to continue improving their work, allowing them to do larger or multi-center studies.
Just as he helped contribute to the Foundation expanding its award offerings, the PIDS Foundation has expanded further with the addition of the Sanofi Health Disparities in Pediatric ID Fellowship Award. Dr. Kronman, a member of the IDA&E Task Force, is excited for this award and to see where trainees take the award and the results from their work. He also looks to the soon to be introduced IMG Early Career Development Award to have an impact on peds ID, as around a third of applicants for the specialty are now international medical graduates who may not be eligible for other research funding. He notes, “It’s great for PIDS to identify that gap and for the PIDS Foundation to try and support those folks and help them establish their careers and research in pediatric ID.”
Dr. Kronman identified efforts to recruit people into the specialty, especially from diverse backgrounds, as an area for the Foundation to dedicate greater attention. Doing so, in his opinion, will help nourish and nurture the specialty to thrive and grow into the future so that the people doing the important work of PIDS will look like and represent the communities that peds ID serves.
Ensuring PIDS and the Foundation can achieve its goals and continue supporting fellows is among the reasons Dr. Kronman has set up a recurring donation. His passion for peds ID, the Society and the Foundation is undeniable, and he has put money to where his mouth is:
“PIDS is such a fun academic home for me. It’s my friends at work. I’m always so excited to see friends and colleagues from across the country. I can only encourage all of the pediatric ID people out there to join and remain active in PIDS. It’s incredibly fulfilling and rewarding to maintain those relationships and deepen them over time. It is so fun to see the up and coming, best and brightest who are joining peds ID for the future. I encourage everyone to remain active in PIDS.”